When I was pregnant I never considered feeding any other way than breast. It was faff-free (within reason), cheap and most important of all, natural!
Two hours after baby Tali’s birth, I was finally able to hold him following an emergency c-section. I feed him straight away, his small mouth rooting as soon as he smelt me. I have never felt built for anything quite like that, watching my gorgeous little boy filling his little belly.
I felt so thrilled that he had been able to latch without much issue – I will always remember the midwife guiding him and helping me with how to hold him. I had said to myself during the pregnancy, that whilst I had wanted to breastfeed, I would not be hard on myself if it didn’t work for whatever reason. However, at that moment, I knew that it was exactly how I was going to feed him. He fed for around an hour and there started our journey. One that is still at the starting block as we are in his fifth month of life.
Its been a long five months. I remember bubba feeding so often in the first month or so, I felt he was constantly on my boob. We’ve fed in the car, in cafes, in the library, sitting on the floor, standing up whilst rocking (he doesn’t like to sleep :p ) and sitting on benches in town. Baby Tali has had ten-minute top-ups and hour long feeds. He has smiled at me whilst feeding and fallen asleep, punched me in the boob, pinched my nipple and karate chopped me in the throat. It has been a huge part of our beautiful life together so far.
Breastfeeding is not easy, it adds another level of dependency to being a mum. You have to be on demand, all day and all night. You have probably never known dehydration or sweating like it. No-one can help with the feeds (unless you can/do express), and you have a constant companion in life. There’s no popping out with friends unless baby is with you, and you very quickly find that all your clothes are useless for feeding in public – unless you are comfortable with stripping down, and if you are, you go girl! There’s the looming worry that someone may say something to you, even when you can legally feed in any public space, and people will likely tut at you.
Post feed at two months
But, if you can make it through the initial haze of constant hard work, it does become easier. You have happy little hormones always being released. You learn to plan around feeds or become more confident in public feeding. Most of all, watching baby grow from your milk makes you proud in a way you never knew you could be.